The Government of The Bahamas is focused on building the technology sector as the third pillar of the Bahamian economy. This commitment to diversifying the economy by embracing technology is a core component of the Government’s mandate to create additional opportunities for Bahamians and allow for participation in a sector that traditionally sparks innovation and is responsible for the creation of the majority of new global wealth.
One of the key pieces of legislation that has been passed to support the growth of the technology industry is the Commercial Enterprises Act of 2017 (“CEA”). The CEA is designed to encourage both Bahamians and international investors and entrepreneurs to invest in the technology sector in The Bahamas.
CEA has also allowed the government to improve and shape even more incentives for Technology companies locally and internationally.
Freeport, Grand Bahama has already begun a process to be branded as a Tech hub, becoming known as Silicon Island, Digital Paradise, largely in part to the Grand Bahama Technology Summit which was held in November 2017 and 2018. We estimate that the Grand Bahama Technology Summit has added over a half a million dollars to the Grand Bahama economy in those two years alone.
The summit brought about new relationships and business opportunities that we are particularly excited about including a Memorandum of Understanding between Cisco, The Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama to explore the development of educational opportunities for Bahamians.
We have embarked on a dynamic new era of innovation and transformation in our Bahamas and the government is revamping our immigration policy and procedures to support our desire to attract new enterprises to our shores.
Technology is envisioned as the third pillar of our economy because:
• There is a need to diversify the economy and expand beyond our reliance on Tourism and Financial Services
• There is a need to provide employment and wealth building opportunities for Bahamians
• Freeport Grand Bahama is an ideal location to establish tech businesses and can support 5x its current population
The vision for the Technology Sector is:
1. Significant contributor to the Bahamian economy and GDP
2. Major employer and major wealth creator for Bahamians
3. Supporting the development of knowledge professionals, and position The Bahamas as a technology innovator
It is projected that with the imminent population growth in Grand Bahama and the Bahamas, the Technology industry will support several other industries including real estate, business tourism, retail, construction transportation and business services.